Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Third Sorrowful Mystery ~ The Crowning with Thorns


Someone might want to debate whether or not this painting is a great work of art, but that's not really important. More often than not, the crown of thorns Jesus wears is a rather modest, well-proportioned, even tidy  circle of thorns. But this crown is totally out of control. I suspect it is a more accurate depiction of what Jesus had put on his head. The soldiers who held Jesus in custody were bored, ignorant, young toughs. We know that unspeakable things happen in prisons. In Jesus suffering, God has descended into the world's depravity.

This crown of thorns is heaped up on the head of Jesus. The world encircles, mocks and punishes the mind of Jesus - the mind that thought: "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Forgive seventy times seven times," "Little girl, get up," "Woman, your faith has saved you," "Has no one condemned you...Neither do I," "Lazarus, come out!"



Our Father, Who art in heaven...

In a bitterly sarcastic way the soldiers proclaim Jesus to be King. But I will amend that mockery and embrace the crowned Jesus as my King, surrendering myself to his rule of justice, mercy and forgiveness.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus is dressed like a king in a sadistic game: faded royal robe, thorn-crown, reed-scepter, mock bowing, blindfolding and spitting. But the Book of Revelation says: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth, wisdom, might, honor and glory and blessing.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

In Jesus Christ, God has a human face, which now seems hardly human at all: beaten up, bloodied, swollen, broken, unrecognizable. Pilate has to announce to the crowd who this man is. Jesus stands in solidarity with all human sufferers, especially those who remain lost or unidentified.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus is innocent and Pilate knows it. Jesus leads the procession which winds all throughout history: a long procession of innocent people who suffer torture, mockery, unjust imprisonment or execution, exile, the sick untended. Father forgive!

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus is bound through this prison scene. Powerless, he is unable to wipe the blood and sweat from his eyes. I ask God's forgiveness for all the sins of ingratitude heaped against God. And seeing Jesus alone in the prison cell, I am assured that God knows and stands with me in my own painful losses.
Hail Mary, full of grace...
 
Saint Jerome tells us: while Jesus is bound, his death will set us free. The crown of thorns Jesus wears will win for us a crown in the Kingdom. That while Jesus is wounded, these wounds will heal us.
Hail Mary, full of grace...
 
The crowning with thorns was not an official part of execution but the meanest invention of cruel soldiers. I'm sorry for any way in which I have touched cruelty and the furious anger that has left someone else shamed, afraid or discouraged.
 
Hail Mary, full of grace...

I desire to enter this scene: the prison cell of Jesus. He and I are there alone. He is exhausted. I bring him the cup of water he told us mattered. In his debased loneliness I speak to him, sharing his sorrow and absorbing his light.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

In this prison scene Jesus is dressed and undressed several times. Jesus amends the sins of nakedness before God: rape, torture, child abuse, child pornography, adultery, sexual slavery.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

In the film The Passion of the Christ, Mary, by some inner sense, finds the exact spot over the subterranian prison cell where Jesus is chained for the night. She presses her face to the floor in love, knowing he is there. I want this Marian sense too: always to know where to find Jesus in love and friendship.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Glory be to the Father...


Carnation ~ Mary's Love of God


2 comments:

  1. Your sorrowful mystery reflections are thoughtful and movimg.

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  2. I love reading these, but I would like to suggest that you always include the name of the artist and the name of the work. So often I would like to see what else the artist has done. Thank you.

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